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  1. To make the dough: Place the milk in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the orange juice. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. When the mixture is barely warm to the touch, mix in the yeast, 1 cup of the flour, and the sugar. Cover the bowl, and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, to give the yeast a chance to get going.

  2. After 10 minutes, the mixture should be showing some bubbles. Mix in the egg and salt. Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until cohesive. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; use the remaining 1/4 cup flour for your hands as you knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. It should be soft, smooth, and supple.

  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  4. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, Clearjel, cinnamon, orange zest, and juice to form a spreadable paste.

  5. To assemble the coffee cake: Deflate the risen dough and pat it into a rectangle. Cover it with greased plastic and let it rest for 5 minutes. After this rest, roll it into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Spread the filling over the rectangle, leaving 1/2" along one long edge uncovered. Roll the dough up (starting at a long edge) toward the opposite uncovered edge. Pinch the seam to seal, then transfer the log to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pull the ends around to form a circle; pinch the ends together.

  6. Cut slits about 1 1/2" apart, three-fourths of the way toward the center of the ring. Lay the rings on their sides to overlap, or twist alternating slices to the inside and outside of the ring, as shown in the recipe's photo. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes, until quite puffy-looking. After 20 minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

  7. When the coffee cake is almost doubled, remove the plastic. Put the cake into the preheated oven, and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

  8. When the cake is lukewarm, combine the confectioners' sugar and orange juice and drizzle over the top before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Can you make this dough in the bread machine? Of course. Program it for the dough cycle, and put the combined ingredients from step 1 into your machine's pan. Let them rest for 10 minutes there, then add the egg, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour. Start the machine, and check after the dough has kneaded for a few minutes by opening the machine and touching it lightly. If the dough sticks to your finger, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Let the machine finish its cycle, then shape the dough as described in steps 5 and 6.
  • The filling as given above will only stay in place by using Instant ClearJel. If you don't have that product, use this filling instead: 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) soft butter, 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest. If the mixture is too thick to spread on the dough without tearing it, add a teaspoon of orange juice.